Short game tips and drills

Short game shots aren’t the most glamours. They don’t have the WOW factor of a tee shot or the nail biting excitement of a putt BUT…

Short shots win games.

If you take a look at any PGA player, the short shots are the ones that really make a difference when it comes to the score sheet.

So, to give you the edge over your opponents when it comes to those all important short shots, here are some tips and drills for you to put into practice:

Tip 1 – Try different shots

Mix it up by trying a few different shots. Try a few really tricky ups and downs while there’s no pressure. It’ll help you better understand the flight the ball is likely to take and help you to be a better green reader for even the simpler shots.

Tip 2 – Challenge your buddies

Increase the stakes by putting a lil’ incentive behind the game. Even if it’s just beer on the 19th hole, it’s a bit of extra fun (if you win!) and can often make you focus that bit more which can tighten up your game.

Tip 3 – Identify your weakness

Are your 50-yarders holding you back? Or your draw chip shots? Get a feel for what type of shot needs improvement and do a bit of research to find some tips on how to improve that aspect of your game.

Tip 4 – Shorten your swing

When you’re playing a shot from 50-60 yards, a common mistake is a long swing and deceleration which ends up in players either duffing or thinning it. This can be overcome with a shorter swing with a lot of speed.

If this sounds like you, pull the club back to 9 o’clock and drive through it.

And now for the drills…

Drill 1 – Par 18 game for the short game

I can’t take the credit for this game, it was devised by Mind coach, Karl Morris but it’s such a staple–every golfer should be doing it!

1. Pick 9 locations around the green to play from: 3 easy, 3 medium and 3 difficult.

2. Each mini hole is a par 2 and by playing all 9 holes you make the total “Par 18”

3. Play all 9 holes and keep your score and make 18 your target.

Not only will this help you get a better read on the pin, but the game mirrors the pressure you might feel during a round because you’re always trying to beat your previous score.

Drill 2 – The 13-Ball Drill

  1. Take 13 balls to a short game practice green
  2. Choose a position on the green and hit all 13 balls from there toward the cup
  3. Take away the 6 balls closest to the pin and the six furthest away to find your average length.
  4. Do this with at least 5 different positions on the green and take note of where each ends up in relation to the hole.

This will help you understand which shots are your strongest and where you might need work. From here you can get advice tailored to your weaker shots.

Want some advice on you weaker shots? Let me know what you’re struggling with by sending me an email at and we might feature some handy tips for you in our next blog!

CATEGORIES Friday Fix, Instruction, Short Game